Post # 1
Here’s the deal hive….
This past weekend my FI and I went to look for a reception site. We really want to get our date so we decided the sooner the better. However, a lot of places around here are limited in space, especially for an overly big wedding. We’re trying to cut back on the guest list however without 90% of his family we already have close to 160 guests! I have a huge family compared to his and we are all very close, which makes it even harder when planning the wedding.
Here is my problem, I can’t get my FMIL to give me a list of family members to invite for his side of the family! Granted I know that his family has some issues among themselves, but she’s almost using that as an excuse to say "don’t invite any of them." I really want things to be even or as close to that as possible, so I want to try and invite the same people on his side as from my side. For example, because I come from a huge family we’re inviting all of my grandparents brothers and sisters (my great aunts and uncles) because they have always been around for everything for me. But to keep the numbers down we are NOT inviting any of their children. An exception would be for my great aunt who lives with her daughter (she’s 91) so her daughter would be invited to help her, should she come.
As I said, I understand that their family has issues within themselves, but I think it’s rude to not invite the same people on his side of the family. Her excuse is because all of his grandparents have passed away, there’s no reason to invite them. "They’re not going to come anyway," is what I get from her. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know if my FI and I should wing it and try to invite who we think or if we should maybe talk to his sister about who she invited.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
While I think its great that you want to keep things even, I don’t think you can force your FMIL to include people she doesn’t want there. Now, if your FH wants them there that’s another story. I would definitely ask his sister for her guest list and then go over it with your FH. After you’ve done that, sit down with your FMIL and talk it out.
No one is going to know that his great Aunt wasn’t invited. I promise. Everyone’s family is different so I am sure your family will understand when his guest list doesn’t mirror yours exactly.
(also, just to give you some perspective. Our guest list is 75% MY family/parents friends b/c my parents are paying for the reception and we just happen to have a larger family/know more people than my FHs)
Post # 4
In the same boat. Nearly 50% of our guest list is my FI’s family. The rest is split up between my family and my FI and I’s friends. Maybe 5% is my family. Literally my mom, dad, and my aunt. Yeah. People are always telling me it should be more split evenly, but it’s not really feasible. This is also mostly why my parents are not paying. They don’t want to pay for all of HIS family. I can’t blame ’em.
Anyways, I forced my parents to give me an invite list, even though we knew they would never make the trip. I told my dad it was the PROPER thing to do, and it was etiquette to let them know we were getting married. It’s rude (in my opinion) to not let your family know this just b/c they live far away. Well, that convinced dad. Sure enough, i sent out invites and they all sent back "no" rsvps, but well wishes.
we did get the entire invite list from my FI’s sister’s wedding 3 years ago. Copy/paste/send. But i made my Fi look it over and make sure all those people were legit.
Post # 5
I agree that while it’s nice to try to make things exactly even, the guest list really doesn’t have to exactly match. For example, it made sense for my Fi to invite his great aunt, her daughter, and her sons. He didn’t invite any of his cousins, though. It made more sense for me to invite all of my cousins and their kids instead. Different families have different relationships. My family on my dad’s side is really close, not so much on my mom’s side. My Fi’s dad’s family is much closer (but also much farther away) than his mom’s side.
Instead of waiting around for your FMIL, could you ask your Fi for the list instead? The guest list should be made up of people BOTH of you want there, anyway, so I think it makes sense to ask him who he wants to see instead of his mother. This might not work out if you FMIL gets mad at who is eventually invited, but it might be worth a shot. Good luck and keep us posted!
Post # 6
Thank you all for the advice! I really appreciate it. I don’t think I actually got my problem out there though. The problem is that she won’t give up any names other than his direct uncle and aunt, her brother and sister in law. I know they have more family than that. I just don’t know how to get more than 10 people there from his side.
Post # 7
Unless there is some other constriant I am not recognizing, why is it up to your FMIL to decide who comes to the wedding from your FIs side?
I would ask your FI who he think is important to have there, and then ask the FMIL for those addresses. I can see where you FMIL wouldn’t want to get involved in family drama, but maybe she is making a large deal over something that doesn’t even invovle your FI, so I would let him decide who he wants there.
Post # 8
Out guest list consisted of about 120 of my relatives from my mother’s side of the family, exactly 0 from my father’s side of the family, about 12 of my husband’s relatives, and about 60 of our friends. I can understand you wanting to keep things even, but frankly just being related to someone is not enough reason to invite them to your wedding in some families. And it might not be enough reason for them to attend – or they might show up only to make trouble of some kind. Every family is different. My father hasn’t spoken to his siblings in over ten years – and while obviously that’s not an ideal situation, it’s really not my place to fix that problem. Inviting them to my wedding would just have caused my dad a lot of mental anguish – because he doesn’t want to see them!
On my husband’s side of the family, they just aren’t close (as near as I can tell). They don’t write or call each other, or even send Christmas cards. We finally invited a few of his cousins, at his request, but his mother actually had no guest list at all (a little like your FMIL). The tricky thing here is to figure out (and here is where your FI comes in) whether your FMIL has no guest list because she has some kind of serious hate relationship with her family, or whether she just doesn’t think they will be interested. If it’s the former, I would suggest that you just back away carefully, and plan to fill FI’s side of the church with friends, and look at it as an opportunity for some of your family to sit closer to the front of the church! If she just doesn’t think they’ll be interested, then figure out who your FI would ideally like to have come, and invite only them. Do make sure that you run that list by his mom – tell her that your FI proposes to invite these family members – and then let him and his mom work out any issues that come up between the two of them.
Trust me, this kind of thing is going to go on throughout your marriage, and even if the way your husband’s family relates in a way that seems really weird to you, you can’t change them and probably shouldn’t try. My husband’s family would barely bother to put each other out if they were on fire – certainly not if it involved getting up off the couch. They almost never even pick up the phone to talk to each other. I talk to my sister and my mom almost every day, and my dad several times a week, and we do things with them all the time. The thing is, it’s not just that my husband’s family doesn’t spend time together – it’s more that they don’t actually enjoy each other’s company (at best) and actively don’t get along (at worst). While it would be nice if that wasn’t true, they have spent years working up to their current level of disfunctionality, and there is really nothing that can be done about that unless they want to do it.
Post # 9
@Suzanno- Thanks for the advice! I actually tried talking to her a little more and she basically told me she doesn’t feel they need to be invited because they show no interest in their family. She also told me about some major family drama and said she wanted to spare it on our day. I understand more now, it just really took some pushing on my end because she didn’t want to give me any reasons why or anything. I think our wedding is going to end up like yours because she’s working on getting a list of close family friends from their side, and he’s getting addresses for a bunch of his friends we had otherwise decided to rule out.